ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Back to school means keeping a stricter sleep schedule for your children.
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The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends preschoolers aged three to five years old should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep, including nap time.
Grade schoolers, students six to 12 years of age, should get nine to 12 hours. Teenaged students 13 and up should get nine to 12 hours of sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a 'Statement of Endorsement' supporting the guidelines several years ago.
They also offer guidelines to help your children get adequate sleep, including:
- Keeping a regular daily routine
- Being active during the day
- Limiting screen time
Experts suggest turning off all devices at least half an hour to an hour before bedtime.
St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Pediatric Pulmonologist Dr. John Prpich told Spectrum Bay News 9 when you follow the guidelines it leads to better mental and physical health.
"It's really important because that sleep is what helps us in terms of memory, it helps us with our behavior and focusing," said Dr. Prpich, a sleep expert. "And so a lot of our kids are trying to learn and that's when we consolidate a lot of those memories is during that good deep sleep."
Also keep in mind, while the guidelines provide less sleep for teenagers because they usually have to wake up earlier and stay up later for homework, the experts say teens should be more earnest to stick to a sleep schedule.
The group found that adequate sleep duration on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep each night is associated with an increase in injuries, hypertension, obesity, and depression, especially for teens who may experience an increased risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts.